Forget couture — sustainability is the hottest look of today. Just as fashion trends can be recycled, clothing, too, can be treated the same to stop them ending up in landfills. At the Redress Design Award held in Hong Kong recently, aspiring designers were seen upcycling their way to fashion stardom.
The award by environmental NGO Redress is the world’s largest sustainable design competition that urgently seeks to catalyse multiple micro-circular economies around the world to reduce fashion’s negative impacts. By incorporating waste materials into designs that not only connected with consumers but also demonstrated strong marketability, winner Jessica Chang from Taiwan proved that fashion need not cost the earth.
As part of the prize, she will be participating in a mentorship programme with VF Corporation’s Timberland and designing a sustainable apparel capsule collection that will be launched in Spring 2023.
Ten finalists from the US, the UK, Germany, India and Greater China participated in virtual events that included educational challenges, as well as master classes on advancing sustainability and circular design.
These up-and-coming talents, who are helping others to notice an opportunity in discarded material, secured their place in the competition by impressing judges with climate-positive apparel through zero-waste patterns, prolonged garment lifecycles, end-of-life disassembly and minimal washing needs.
Following the 11th edition of this competition, all 2021 finalists and semi-finalists will join the 200 other members of Redress’ Alumni Network, which has seen 60 designers starting their own successful brands over the years.
This article first appeared on Sept 20, 2021 in The Edge Malaysia.